Originally Posted by HarryT
They are certainly gadgets for those with a fair amount of disposable income, just as iPods are. Most eInk devices are in broadly the same price category as higher-end iPods. I don't think that makes them a "fringe novelty", though, unless you consider reading for pleasure to itself be a "fringe" activity these days?
Dedicated reading of novels (edit: on dedicated expensive devices)? Yes, I consider that pretty fringe, even though it's still a pretty big market (almost all entertainment is).
Before leaving the USA, probably 50% of my books had detailed technical illustrations and colored charts and diagrams, art photos and plates, and all sorts of things that current ebook readers can't do well, even at the larger sizes. Even today, probably 1/3 of my ebooks make extensive use of colors and images that don't show well except on a bright high-contrast screen (which no e-ink screen qualifies as yet).
Reading itself is still very popular...but it seems to be common here that there's a very narrow and limited view of what exactly reading is.